Thursday, May 27, 2010

KVM in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP 1

At Novell BrainShare Amsterdam last week, the Geekos were handing out SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 (RC4) at IT Central. So off came my DVD drive and I installed it on a separate partition on my Thinkpad.

Since its a Release Candidate (RC4) and not the final GA version due on 2nd June, I wanted to have a quick look at how KVM works since its an officially supported hypervisor in SP1 (other than the very established Xen shipped and supported since SLES 10 back in 2006).

I've been using Xen and helping partners & customers implement it for a few years, without any knowledge of KVM, I wanted to dive right in and see how far I'd go. I am very impressed with the engineering and thought put into how KVM is packaged with SLES 11 SP1. This is truly a fine example of an "Enterprise" grade product. I was able to virtualize an instance of SLES 11 SP1 and MS Windows 7 with no assistance. The KEY is the tools (libvirt & virt-manager) for Xen, which I'm familiar since SLES 10, is now capable of managing both Xen and KVM in SLES 11 SP1. Depending if you boot into the Xen kernel or the default kernel with KVM module loaded, these same tools can be used, thus providing a consistent user interface. This is just brilliant! senyum

For existing users of Xen, should they decide that KVM is a better alternative as it matures further down the road, they could easily switch without much hassle. More importantly, its conceivable that any custom scripts (automation, failover or whatever) developed for Xen can be easily applied to KVM. This is much better than RIP-n-REPLACE in so many other "Enterprise" grade products.

Here are a few screenshots:

Cheers! senyum


  1. Is there any howto for using KVM in sles 11 sp1 for a newbie?

  2. Jiffa, good question... I can't find any in my quick search on the web. I will check if work is being done to address this... in the meantime, I'm contemplating if I should take up this challenge and create a quickstart on my blog... would you support it? :)

  3. Han, how can I help?

    Eric von Novell Malaysia